Writing Without Giving in to AI Temptation

The tempting to rely on AI tools like ChatGPT for writing tasks can be strong in today’s digital age. However, it’s wort mastering the art of research and writing without giving in to this urge, whether you’re a student, journalist, or a professional writer.

In a recent Wired magazine articleEstelle Erasmus, an award-winning journalist and writing coach, recommends resisting the temptation to use AI tools like ChatGPT for stronger writing.

The importance of utilizing credible data and sources for writing projects is emphasized in the book “Writing That Gets Noticed“. The author describes how they wrote a story for Parents.com using accurate information and citing relevant research, which helped them get more writing opportunities.

Here are some essential tips shared by various writers to help you resist the temptation of AI and produce high-quality content:

  • Find Statistics From Primary Sources: Check out experts and peer-reviewed research studies for authoritative information. Always verify the figures from primary sources to avoid errors introduced through secondary sources.
  • Dive Into Databases: Use databases like Google Scholar, your local public library, and resources such as Library of Congress for citable documents and additional information beyond surface-level research. ““If I find that a secondary source mentions a newspaper article, I’m going to go to the original newspaper article, instead of just stopping there and quoting,” says author Jen Malia.
  • Get a Good Filtering System: Use tools like Epic Research or Google Scholar to filter for recent studies and research, keep your research organized, and be prepared to undergo peer review to make sure it’s accurate and reliable. “But keep in mind that the internet is full of false information, and websites that look trustworthy can sometimes turn out to be businesses or companies with a vested interest in you taking their word as objective fact without additional scrutiny,” reports the Wired.
  • For Accuracy, Go to the Government: For accurate and up-to-date information, especially for topics like finance and regulations, use government websites like the IRS. “AI and ChatGPT can be great for idea generation, but you have to be careful. If you are using an article someone was quoted in, you don’t know if they were misquoted or quoted out of context,” says Author Bobbi Rebell.
  • Historically, the Loudest Isn’t the Best: Be cautious of relying solely on social media or popular voices for expertise. Check publication history and educational credentials to make sure they are credible. Audrey Clare Farley, a historical nonfiction writer, cautions that loudest voices on the social media may not be the experts. “They might not necessarily be the most authoritative. I vet them by checking if they have a history of publication on the topic, and/or educational credentials.”

And finally, the best endings for virtually any writing, whether it’s an essay, a research paper, an academic report, or a piece of investigative journalism, circle back to the beginning of the piece, and show your reader the transformation or the journey the piece has presented in perspective.

Estelle Erasmus on Wired

Ultimately, the key to a good writing is good research and thoughtful analysis. Although AI tools may provide convenience, they cannot replace the critical thinking and insight needed to make a good writing.

By learning these basic skills, any writer confidently use the internet and other digital landscape to make sure that their work is trustworthy and interesting. Therefore, it’s important to resist the temptation to take shortcuts and embrace the journey of crafting authentic and impactful writing.

Acknowledgements: ChatGPT was used to summarize some content and prepare its first draft.